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Info walks taken from camps.

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:53 pm

Hi Suzz, and welcome.
I think, in terms of the walks, there is actually a lot more caution and respect than on the drives.
Once someone pays and signs into Kruger, that is it, they have a relative freedom.
The walks are always taken with absolute respect for nature and the clients...
I would recommend it, and don't be concerned.. the guy leading you has really commit ed himself to yours and the animal's well being.
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Unread postby lisa » Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:28 am

Hi Suzz. I did one in November 2003 from Olifants and it was one of the most memorable experiences I ever had. I can't wait to do it again and when we are there later this year I hope to go on as many as I can. Here is what I wrote in my journal about it last time:

My favorite experience at Kruger was the morning game walk I took at Olifants. There were seven of us plus a ranger and a tracker (both armed).
At one point we were almost completely surrounded by a herd of over 30 elephants of all sizes.
We got to watch an old bull enjoying a mud bath, saw a female nursing a calf, and we were charged by one of the young bulls and had to beat a hasty retreat behind a large rock.

I can't even tell you how special it was.
I think I had a big grin on my face the entire time.
The whole thing was very exciting but I was never afraid.
The guides were excellent and gave us a good briefing in advance about what to expect and what to do.
I never felt afraid at all, just excited.
When they said "Move behind that rock, NOW" -- we moved!
Watching the ellies interact with each other was the best -- they were completely unaware of our presence for a short while when the wind was right and then it got a little more complicated but still turned out OK, I almost felt embarrassed for having disturbed their lovely time.
We also saw giraffes quite close and a large baboon spider which our guide fished out of a hole, plus some old ivory and an old skull and some spoor.
We also heard lions but never saw them.
After driving around so much it was lovely to be out of the car and off the road.
On the walk back to where the vehicle was parked the guides pretended to be lost and had a good laugh at our expense.
I highly recommend doing a walk if you can...truly the highlight of my too-short 3 days in Kruger.
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Unread postby Joao » Sat Aug 05, 2006 3:31 pm

I agree with macho mouse.
When driving the driver can do as he or she likes and sometimes it is to the detriment of the passengers, other road users and the animals. The guides on the guided walks are well trained and they know how to handle a situation in the best interest of humans and animals.
Nothing beats a guided walk and the three day trails is the best experience i've ever had.
The walks and trails is for the acclaimed "NATURE LOVERS". :lol:

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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:46 pm

There are quite a few moments where the rangers stop to explain things about plants and animals. Those would be excellent to film. And then you may also get lucky and get very near big game, rare birds, whatever.

I would bring it, but keep in mind that video makes noise. Some animals do not like it, remember ellies and the sound of USM driven lenses, so be carefull where and when to use it.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:45 am

Obelix wrote:Quick question for those of you who've been on a day walk - would you think its a good idea to take a small digital video camera with (and is it allowed)?

From what's been written on the forum, I'm on the one hand concerned that we would miss out on a wonderful opportunity to get some great footage of what sounds like an awesome experience (imagine having the privilege of watching the guide's comments and observations over and over again afterwards).

Then again, I tend to think that having to do the recording during the walk (e.g. struggling with spare batteries, continously looking through the cam, fiddling with it, etc. instead of taking in the surroundings personally,) would spoil the whole experience.

Any views?

I normally take mine along. It is allowed. But like I told Laine's SO last night, I wish I can take a gaffer boy along to Kruger to record footage for me. :lol: I feel I lose out alot whilst fiddling with the cam and looking @ the subject of interest thru the screen. But I have some awesome footage of 11 lion cubs playing 30meters from us and of a big black maned male running away from us @ 50m and roaring us to a standstill. :wink:
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Unread postby Wild about cats » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:25 pm

African Storm wrote:Has anyone been on a walk while it's been raining? What is it like?(besides wet...) and do you thing you would see more or less game and why?

I have never been on a walk while it's been raining, but when it was overcast and we did see quite a lot- probably because it wasn't so hot.. :wink:

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Unread postby bucky » Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:54 am

I would say do 1 of each-

1 - Do a sunset drive up at satara , they nightlife is normally pretty good , and also you will still be getting into the park at that stage .
2 - Do a morning walk at Lower sabie , because you may well want to have a break from the car after driving for a few days , so it would make a nice change .

For the walk , you need to be resonably fit to enjoy it,as it isnt a stroll at the mall. You can expect to do around 4km on rugged terrain .
In January the temperature may well be in the upper 20's at the start of the walk , and over 30 when you finish up , this is something to consider when walking in january .

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Re: Reservations for activities a good idea?

Unread postby Fizzpop » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:13 am

Hi there

The option to do the walk from LS is 100%. The guides at LS are the best... and have been for a few years (IMHO)! Even if you dont see too much as far as bigger animals, on the walk, these guys will help you to just marvel at what is surrounding you!
As for weather... it could be pouring with rain on the morning you decide to walk, and you would have had to book and pay at least by the night before. Now i believe the actual walk will be depend on the "safety" aspect, as if it is raining too much, it can become dangerous to be in there with the "wet 'n hairies".
This happened to us at Orpen in Jan this year... in the steady rain we nearly walked on top of a lioness who was sleeping/ keeping dry in a dense bush :shock: . Luckily she ran away from us :shock: Right there our guide called off the walk, some fifteen minutes after we started. Too dangerous to continue..
(No refund, either).

But go and enjoy, it will be an experience to talk about for years to come. 8)
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Unread postby Obelix » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:04 am

Lisa, I wouldn't think that as many people would go on the morning walks during Dec/Jan (because of the heat factor), compared to other times of the year.
However, I suggest that you still pre-book to avoid disappointment.
Only 8 people can go on a walk and given that fact that your options are limited (I see you're in most of the camps for only 1 night), you might very well find the walk for that specific morning already fully booked on your arrival.

As to which camps, I've only done two walks - one from Satara and one from Lower-Sabie and I can definitely recommend both camps.
Nothing beats the experience of walking into lions on foot - something which we were very fortunate in experiencing at Satara.
From what I've seen on the forum and in my experience all the guides accompanying you on the morning walks are excellent.
In any event, its not always the same guides doing the morning walk from a specific camp, so its going to be difficult to express any opinion on what guides you're going to get at what camp.

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Morning Walks

Unread postby walt » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:47 pm

Hi there all you Krougies (Kruger Groupies)

Staying at Shingwedzi (2 nights), Letaba (3) and Satara (2) during December. Want to do a morning walk with two male teenagers, with prices @ R220 a head, can only afford it once.

I am a keen birder, will enjoy the small things, but the testosterone filled youngsters will definitely prefer the more dangerous bigger things.

* Which of the three camps walk will the boys enjoy most ?
* Will an overweight, middle-aged, last-ran-at-full-speed-10- years-ago male keep up ?
* How long does one walk ?
* Need to take my bird guidebook along or will the guide be a walking Roberts ?

Looking forward to some great answers !
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Morning Walk

Unread postby Mars » Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:49 am

No one can tell you for certain that Satara will be better than Letaba or visa versa, on today's morning walk in Satara you can come across lions, and for then next 2 weeks nothing.

The idea of the morning walk is not to go out and see the big 5, then you will be disappointing, but to experience the bush in a different way, see things you can't see from the vehicle and learn a lot about the surroundings.

I can advise you to book your walk in advance via Sanparks, cause you might get there and they tell you it's fully booked.
The morning walk is better than the afternoon walk especially in Dec, you will leave the camp at about 05:00 and meet 15 minutes before that, just confirm times as they said they are going to make it earlier.
Then 2 game rangers who is highly experienced with firearms will give you a briefing of the do's and dont's then you will drive a while and start walking, you will stop half way where snacks and cool drink will be offered, if you prefer so you can take your own.

You don't need a bird book as the ranger will tell you what it is, and also more about the bird, usually you will come across 1 of the big 5 on such a walk.
But as I said the idea is for smaller things, no one can guarantee you a Lion or Leopard sighting.

And as long as you follow the ranger's commands you will be perfectly save and enjoy the walk, it lasts for about 3 hours walking at 'normal pace' and stopping at interesting things.
I was on a walk in Oct in Satara, there was lots of interesting things like Rhino spoor, small animals, leopard tortoise, buffalo carcass, some birds, zebra's, etc.
But I learned from it there was no big 5 but it was still worth it.

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Unread postby graemy » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:28 pm

Hi Walt
Physically, you should be fine.
We had the same worries as you do and the walk was no problem at all.
On our only walk (near Lower Sabie) we stalked two white rhino.
We came up to about 50 meters of them and then the wind turned and they ran off....
I was happy to see rhino on foot, but just as happy to draw in the bush atmosphere.
I think your youngsters will really enjoy it even if you don't see much that is "big".
As for the adrenalin, we spent an hour walking along hippo paths.
We didn't see any hippo, but we could hear them in the river and just the thought of coming across one was adrenalin enough..! :lol:
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Re: Morning Walks

Unread postby gwendolen » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:46 pm

walt wrote:I am a keen birder, will enjoy the small things, but the testosterone filled youngsters will definitely prefer the more dangerous bigger things.

Hi Walt,

How about doing the Olifants riverwalk? The focus during these walks is on river animals like crocodiles, hippos and birds! The walk starts at 9.30 am so you can easily be there on time, when staying at Letaba. The walk takes 1,5 hours and it costs somewhere around R110.

I did the walk myself in August and it was easily the best walk I have ever done. (I have also walked at Satara, Berg en Dal and Lower Sabie) I posted some pictures here.

DinkyBird and Hawk also did the walk and Hawk posted a great report about it.
At One with the Olifants - Sept 2006

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